RUSSIA: National Association of Agriculture Insurers proposed creation of forest insurance system in view of the drastically increasing intensity of forest fires

12 May 2020 — Marina MAGNAVAL
A drier than average winter and the higher spring temperatures have made Siberia more severely affected by forest fires than in previous years. In total, on April 28, 2020, there were 3,339 outbreaks recorded compared to only 1,960 last year. The area covered by fires since the beginning of the year is 477,000 hectares (vs. 382,000 hectares last year), Siberia Times reports.

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia, a critical situation has developed in Siberia and the Far East. On April 27, in the Krasnoyarsk region the area covered by fires was 10 times bigger that last year.

On April 30, the National Association of Agriculture Insurers (NAAI) approached the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia with a proposal to consider creation of a forest insurance system. As the president of NAAI Korney BIZHDOV noted, over the past 3 years, the area of forest fires has tripled - from 3.2 million hectares in 2017 to 10 million hectares in 2019. At the same time, the amount of damage is growing - in 2019 losses reached RUB 19 billion (EUR 274 million), he said.

NAAI introduced the initiative to insure forests against fire at replacement cost and proposed to launch the project in 2021 in pilot regions - Siberia and the Far East. "However, this work can't be organized only at the level of the subordinate entities of the Russian Federation, federal mechanisms are needed", BIZHDOV emphasized.

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